Single Store Category: Fruehauf’s Patio & Garden, Boulder, Colo.
Thomas Russell -- Casual Living, September 1, 2008
In a tight economy, it helps to stand out. With 2 acres of floor space for displaying gifts, accessories and outdoor furniture, Fruehauf’s Patio & Garden is hard to miss.
“We like to think of ourselves as the Disneyland of casual furniture stores,” said Mary Fruehauf, who co-owns the business with David Daum. “It’s definitely a destination shop. People drive for three or four hours to get here. It’s fun and a unique experience and it’s not just about casual furniture. It’s also about accessories and themes. That helps us.”
The retailer is relatively new to the casual furniture category.
“We started as a garden center and evolved into selling more casual furniture,” Fruehauf said. “So we’re still experiencing growth and sales that are ahead of last year. It’s not drastically ahead, but it’s ahead.”
Fruehauf said the 15-member staff does a number of things to keep customers entertained and motivated to buy. For one thing, they change displays daily.
“It’s constantly in rotation, and at least half our displays will be different,” said Freuhauf. “It’s a lot of work, but it makes a big difference.”
So does solid customer service that has earned the retailer its third Apollo Award nomination.
“We do extensive training with our employees so they’re very familiar with our products,” said Fruehauf. “That includes a lot of extra after-hours meetings and testing so they’re as knowledgeable as they can be.”
Fruehauf’s also offers same-day delivery on all of its in-stock items.
“That’s a wonderful benefit to our customers,” Fruehauf said. “They can buy today and enjoy it tonight, and that definitely sets us apart from discount stores and other places.”